December 17

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“The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him” (Nahum 1:7 NKJV).

From: December 17, 2017

In the midst of his prophecy against Nineveh, the prophet Nahum gives three wonderful attributes of God. The first is God’s goodness. God is essentially good. He is goodness itself. Whatever good we know, it comes from God. Whatever goodness we have contemplated, He is best. The second attribute is about God’s power to protect and defend as a “stronghold” those who are in trouble. God’s power is tempered by His goodness. He is omnipotent, yet gentle. His absolute power is not corrupted because of His absolute goodness. The third attribute is God’s wisdom. “He knows.” What does God know? God is omniscient. He knows all. Yet, God has particular interest in “those who trust in Him.” He especially knows them.
 
God is good, powerful and wise. Let us put all of our trust in Him!

“Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them” (Revelation 8:2 ESV)

From: December 17, 2016

Seven is a significant number in the Bible. The Bible opens in Genesis with the seven days of creation and it begins to draw to a close with the seven trumpets of judgment in Revelation. The number seven signifies completion. The apostle John wrote of seven signs and seven “I AM” statements in his gospel, and in his vision on the Isle of Patmos he was commissioned to write to seven churches, symbolized by seven lampstands. He saw seven stars, seven seals, seven vials, seven plagues… and here, he saw “seven angels” who were given “seven trumpets.” The trumpet is a unique instrument, sounding a loud, piercing tone that demands attention. It is a symbol of considerable consequence in the Bible. It was used to sound an alarm of war, a call to assemble, or a command to march. Yet here, it announces the release of seven plagues or judgments upon the earth. These seven trumpets are not blown simultaneously, but sequentially, giving fallen humanity time to repent, just as the ten plagues of Egypt were given in ever-increasing sequence to call Pharaoh to repentance. This Day when the seven angels will be given seven trumpets has not yet come. It is still future. It stands as both a prophetic warning to sinners and a promise to the saints, whose prayers ever rise like “incense” (Rev. 8:3-4) before God’s heavenly throne.

‘Give me neither poverty nor riches— Feed me with the food allotted to me; Lest I be full and deny You, And say, “Who is the Lord?”
Or lest I be poor and steal,
And profane the name of my God’ (Proverbs 30:8-9 NKJV)

From: December 17, 2015

A proverb and a prayer asking God to supply just the right “allotment” of wealth to avoid the extremes of both “poverty and riches.” Each condition presents its own spiritual and moral problems. The rich are tempted to be “full and deny” the God who blessed them. They forget that the Lord is both Creator and Owner of all. They become self-satisfied and smug. The poor are tempted to “steal” and to blame God for their plight, “profaning” His great Name. They forget to trust God and blame Him and others for their plight. Both poverty and riches bring their own trouble. Better to focus on the Lord who blesses, than on the blessings themselves. Trusting in the Lord to meet our needs, we are able to say along with the apostle Paul, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil.4:12-13).

“This message concerning Nineveh came as a vision to Nahum, who lived in Elkosh” (Nahum 1:1 NLT)

From: December 17, 2014

Believers can trust the reliability of the Bible. Regardless of the opinions of its detractors, it continues to be supported by archeology and the facts of history. In this first verse from the prophet Nahum, we see reference to two places, “Nineveh” and “Elkosh.” Elkosh was the home of Nahum and was located in the Northern part of Israel close to today’s Lebanon border. Its name means “God, my bow.” Nineveh was the capital city of ancient Assyria. At the time of Nahum it may have been the largest city in the ancient world. Yet, God gave Nahum a vision that it would be totally destroyed and never rebuilt. Both predictions came true. Today, the ancient ruins of Nineveh, which lie near the city of Mosul in Iraq, have been the site of numerous archeological digs since the mid 1800s. Evidence of Assyrian kings named in the Bible have been uncovered. For instance, the palace of Sennacherib with its 71 rooms and colossal bas-reliefs was discovered in 1849. Over 22,000 cuneiform clay tablets were discovered in the ruins of an ancient library that revealed the wealth of kings like Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal. These names and the wealth of Nineveh was recorded in the Bible, long before these discoveries were made. The Bible is the archeologist’s best friend when digging in the Middle East. Why? Because it is reliable. We can depend on God’s Word.

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour” (Revelation 8:1)

From: December 17, 2013

John saw Christ open the 7th and final seal and as the scroll unfolded, silence fell over heaven. Was this the silence of expectation, awaiting the reading of the scroll’s content? Or was the silence part of the message? Perhaps it was a kind of intermission between scenes? Or a time of prayerful meditation awaiting the final unfolding of God’s revelation? Regardless, there was silence… made more profound by its suddenness and length. Even John held his tongue and did not interrupt with questions. All was silent. Perhaps this is the silence that will precede the creation of the new heaven and the new earth. Just like the silence that preceded the original creation. And the silent night that fell before our Savior’s birth.

“The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished” (Nahum 1:3)

From: December 17, 2012

Nahum prophesied against Nineveh, the city that repented under Jonah’s preaching but soon returned to its idolatry. Located East of the Tigris and the modern city of Mosul, this capital city of Assyria fell, never to be rebuilt in 612 BC. In this the Lord’s attributes are illustrated. He is infinitely patient, giving second and third chances to repent. But He is also omnipotent and just, not only able, but willing to correct wrongs. Like Jonah, we wonder if God will ever act to address the injustice of this world. But don’t mistake His patience for inaction. He offers many warnings for repentance before dispensing justice.